Friday, June 14, 2019

How Suhani Mohan of Saral Designs avoids hiring sexist men - Quartz

How Suhani Mohan of Saral Designs avoids hiring sexist men - Quartz


How Suhani Mohan of Saral Designs avoids hiring sexist men - Quartz

Posted: 14 Jun 2019 09:24 AM PDT

Being a female CEO comes with its own set of challenges, like raising capital, or being taken seriously. That's especially true if you're the young female CEO of a mechanical engineering startup in India, heading up a mostly male staff, and dealing in menstrual hygiene solutions.

That's Suhani Mohan's job description. She handles these challenges and more with confidence and creativity. And she makes sure her male employees don't secretly harbor sexist views.

Mohan founded Saral Designs in 2013, when she was just 23, with her business partner Kartik Mehta to address the staggering lack of access to sanitary pads in India. At the time, reports showed that over 70% of women in the country didn't practice proper menstrual hygiene because they don't have the means to buy pads or tampons, they lack the education in good hygiene practices, or both. Though things have improved in recent years, at least 40% of women in India still don't have access to proper menstrual hygiene supplies.

Unlike other ventures trying to solve this problem in India (and other low-income countries) by making low-cost pads, Mohan spun the business problem on its head. Making cheap pads, she realized, is a difficult business for a specific reason: Producing them on a small scale is too expensive; on a large scale, they're too expensive to distribute.

Enter Saral Designs. The Bombay-based company does not make pads, but instead makes automatic pad-making machines (the first-ever made in India). The idea is  that local entrepreneurs can afford the machines, and then can manufacture a volume of pads that is large enough to offset the production costs, but small enough to be distributed locally. Saral Designs works with companies to customize the machines based on their specific needs.

Annalisa Merelli for Quartz

Pads fresh off one of Saral Designs' automated machines.

"It's the idea of a business in a box," explains Mohan. The machine allows entrepreneurs to start a small- to medium-size pad business very quickly, without having to do research on how to make the actual products. Saral Designs makes two types of pad-making machines—a semi-automated one, and a fully automated one.

The model has been successful, and Saral Designs has sold its machines to companies in several countries in Asia and Africa. Now five years old, the company employs 28 people—perhaps surprisingly, the majority (19 employees) are men.

While customer-facing roles have high female representation, the team that designs, builds, and tests the machines are predominantly male. "A lot of work is engineering-related," explains Mohan, "and we find it difficult to recruit women, because very few women [have] a mechanical engineering background."

As a CEO, Mohan spends much of her time recruiting new employees, and she is very clear about one point: She will not hire sexist men (or women). She is so serious about this that she has developed a hiring tool to detect sexism, even subtly, among hiring candidates.

Annalisa Merelli for Quartz

The engineering team checks one of the pad-making machines in Saral Designs' headquarters.

Annalisa Merelli for Quartz.

A sign inside Saral Designs' headquarters in Navi Mumbai.

"We have a questionnaire now that deals with asking them, for instance, what is their opinion about menstruation," she explains, "and we take [their answers] seriously."

"The concept actually came up as a result of discussion with Acumen fellows(social entrepreneurs) when I was sharing challenges of building an inclusive culture in an engineering and product focused company," says Mohan.

Given the nature of the business, Mohan thinks it's important that all employees have a somewhat comfortable relationship with menstruation. Having employees who, even in the backs of their heads, find it icky can't possibly be good for the company's performance.

Culturally, there is still a lot of stigma around menstruation in India. Women may be barred from certain practices (religious or traditional) once they reach an age when they might be menstruating. Many people—men and women alike—won't as much as mention menstruation. Mohan wants none of that inside Saral Designs.

So prospective employees of Saral Designs, even those whose roles pertain to no more than the literal nuts and bolts of the business, answer interview questions about periods and the reproductive system, on top of more traditional inquiries about work experience or education.

But the questionnaire goes beyond that.

For instance, it asks employees for their take on reproductive rights, the #MeToo movement, and how they feel about women who are higher up than men in the workplace hierarchy. "We have very abstract questions to check for sexism," says Mohan, who refers to the questionnaire as a "sexism filter."

To develop it, the core team sat together to list the key values of the company, such as empathy, gender equality, efficiency, transparency and leadership. "With those in mind, we designed specific questions that can test alignment to those values," Mohani says.

Mohan has found that it's not effective to ask whether an employee thinks women have the same rights as men because the "correct" answer is too obvious. Instead, more nuanced questions—one, for instance, that presents a scenario of inequality, and asks how the employee would behave in it—are more useful for identifying whether the candidates are indeed feminists, or just playing the part in the interview. The questions also draw from news and current affairs, trying to gauge the candidate's opinions on socially-divisive issues, such as caste politics or sexist religious practices.

Mohan says she's found the tool to be effective. The best evidence is in the numbers of unfit candidates it helped identify. "We have actually rejected a lot of technically good candidates because of it," she says. "When there is a cultural misfit, it creates conflict sooner or later," she explains. "So, from past experience, we prefer waiting to find the right fit, rather than hiring someone and asking them to leave."

Mohan says she has shared the concept with some friends who are CEOs of other start-ups, and strongly believes in the importance of expanding the reach of "sexism filters" across businesses. "Companies need to go beyond having compliance tests and having inclusion and diversity mentioned in annual reports only or acting only as a response to a case gone bad," she says.

This story is part of How We'll Win in 2019, a year-long exploration of workplace gender equality. Read more stories here.

Germany Gift Cards and Incentive Cards Market Report 2019: Business and Retail Consumer Spending Pattern, Attitude & Behaviour 2014-2023 - Yahoo Finance

Posted: 14 Jun 2019 07:45 AM PDT

DUBLIN, June 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The "Germany Gift Cards and Incentive Cards Market Intelligence and Future Growth Dynamics - Market Size and Forecast (2014-2023), Analysis of Business and Retail Consumer Spending Pattern, Attitude & Behaviour" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.

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This report provides a detailed data centric analysis of gift cards and corporate incentive cards market along with consumer behaviour and retail spend dynamics in Germany. With over 150 KPIs at country level, this report provides comprehensive understanding of gift and incentive card market dynamics.

  • Gift cards: Drawing from proprietary survey results, this report provides in-depth analysis of opportunities in both open loop and closed loop prepaid gift card categories. Assesses consumer behaviour by type of consumer (retail and corporate - SMB, Mid-Tier, Large Enterprise), gifting occasion, digital gift card type, and market share by retail categories.
  • Details six essential KPIs: number of cards in circulation, load value, unused value, average purchase value, average value per transaction, and value of transactions.
  • Corporate incentive & loyalty cards: This report provides detailed market dynamics of corporate incentive cards, broadly segmented in four categories - consumer incentive card, employee incentive card, sales incentive card, and festival & other. It details market size and forecast at category level, by functional attribute (open loop and closed loop), and by corporate consumer segments (small scale business, mid-size business, and enterprise business).
  • Digital gift card analysis: Provides market size and forecast for digital gift cards, broken down by retail and corporate buyers and by occasion.
  • Open loop and closed loop: Provides market estimates and forecasts to assess opportunities in open loop and closed loop gift and incentive card segments across consumer segments.
  • Consumer attitude and behaviour: Drawing from proprietary survey results, this report identifies and interprets key prepaid KPIs, including spend by age, gender, and income level. In addition, it provides an overview of how consumers are currently using gift cards across key retail sectors.
  • Retail spend: Breaks down retail spend across 12 categories / sectors to provide detailed insights on consumer behaviour and changing dynamics of gift card spend.
  • Market share by retailer: Provides market share of closed loop gift cards by key retailers in Germany.

Key Topics Covered:

1 About this Report
1.1 Methodology
1.2 Disclaimer

2 Germany Gift Card Market Size and Forecast
2.1 Gift Card - Load Value Trend Analysis
2.2 Gift Card - Unused Value Trend Analysis
2.3 Gift Card - Transaction Value Trend Analysis
2.4 Gift Card - Transaction Volume Trend Analysis
2.5 Gift Card - Average Value per Transaction Trend Analysis
2.6 Gift Card Market Size and Forecast by Functional Attribute
2.7 Gift Card Market Share Analysis by Consumer Segments

3 Germany Open Loop Gift Card Market Size and Forecast
3.1 Open Loop Gift Card - Transaction Value Trend Analysis
3.2 Open Loop Gift Card - Number of Cards Trend Analysis

4 Germany Closed Loop Gift Card Market Size and Forecast
4.1 Closed Loop Gift Card - Transaction Value Trend Analysis
4.2 Closed Loop Gift Card - Number of Cards Trend Analysis

5 Digital Gift Card Market Size Trend Analysis and Future Growth Dynamics
5.1 Digital Gift Card Market Size Trend Analysis
5.2 Retail Consumer Digital Gift Card Market Size Trend Analysis
5.3 Retail Consumer Digital Gift Card Market Share Analysis by Occasion
5.4 Corporate Consumer Digital Gift Card Market Size Trend Analysis
5.5 Corporate Consumer Digital Gift Card Market Share Analysis by Occasion

6 Germany Gift Card Analysis by Retail Consumer Segment
6.1 Retail Consumer Segment - Gift Card Market Size Trend Analysis and Forecast
6.2 Open Loop Gift Card Market Size Trend Analysis and Forecast by Retail Consumer Segment
6.3 Closed Loop Gift Card Market Size Trend Analysis and Forecast by Retail Consumer Segment

7 Germany Gift Card Consumer Insights and Purchase Behaviour by Retail Sector
7.1 Retail Consumer Gift Card Market Share Analysis by Retail Categories
7.2 Sales Uplift Analysis by Retail Sectors
7.3 Gift Card Spend Analysis by Consumer Purchase Behaviour
7.4 Germany Closed Loop Gift Card Market Share Analysis by Key Retailers
7.5 Gift Card Spend Analysis by Number of Gift Cards Purchased
7.6 Retail Consumer Gift Card Market Share Analysis by Purchase Location
7.7 Gift Card Market Share Analysis by Gifting Occasion
7.8 Gift Card Spend Analysis by Age Group
7.9 Gift Card Spend Analysis by Income Group
7.10 Gift Card Spend Analysis by Gender
7.11 Business Sentiment - Expected Gift Card Spend in 2019

8 Germany Gift Card Analysis by Corporate Consumer Segment
8.1 Corporate Consumer Segment - Gift Card Market Size Trend Analysis and Forecast
8.2 Open Loop Gift Card Market Size Trend Analysis and Forecast by Corporate Consumer Segment
8.3 Closed Loop Gift Card Market Size Trend Analysis and Forecast by Corporate Consumer Segment
8.4 Corporate Gift Card Market Size Trend Analysis and Forecast by Size of Company
8.5 Corporate Consumer Gift Card Market Share Analysis by Purchase Location
8.6 Corporate Gift Card Market Share Analysis by Occasion

9 Germany Consumer Incentive and Loyalty Prepaid Card Market Size and Forecast
9.1 Consumer Incentive and Loyalty Prepaid Card Market Size and Forecast
9.2 Consumer Incentive and Loyalty Prepaid Card Market Size and Forecast by Number of Cards
9.3 Consumer Incentive and Loyalty Prepaid Card Market Size and Forecast by Average Value of Card Purchased
9.4 Consumer Incentive Prepaid Card Market Size and Forecast by Size of Company

10 Germany Employee Incentive Prepaid Card Market Size and Forecast
10.1 Employee Incentive Prepaid Card - Market Size & Forecast Trend Analysis
10.2 Employee Incentive Prepaid Card Market Size and Forecast by Number of Cards
10.3 Employee Incentive Prepaid Card Market Size and Forecast by Average Value of Card Purchased
10.4 Employee Incentive Prepaid Card Market Size and Forecast by Functional Attribute
10.5 Employee Incentive Prepaid Card Market Size and Forecast by Size of Company

11 Germany Sales/Partner Incentive Prepaid Card Market Size and Forecast
11.1 Sales/Partner Incentive Prepaid Card - Market Size & Forecast Trend Analysis
11.2 Sales/Partner Incentive Prepaid Card Market Size and Forecast by Number of Cards
11.3 Sales/Partner Incentive Prepaid Card Market Size and Forecast by Average Value of Card Purchased
11.4 Sales/Partner Incentive Prepaid Card Market Size and Forecast by Functional Attribute
11.5 Sales/Partner Incentive Prepaid Card Market Size and Forecast by Size of Company

12 Germany Corporate Spend on Gift Cards - Festival & Other Segment Market Size and Forecast
12.1 Festival & Other Prepaid Card - Market Size & Forecast Trend Analysis
12.2 Festival & Other Prepaid Card Market Size and Forecast by Number of Cards
12.3 Festival & Other Prepaid Card Market Size and Forecast by Average Value of Card Purchased
12.4 Festival & Other Prepaid Card Market Size and Forecast by Functional Attribute
12.5 Festival & Other Prepaid Card Market Size and Forecast by Size of Company

Companies Mentioned

  • Edeka Zentral AG & Co KG
  • Schwarz Beteiligungs GmbH
  • Aldi Group
  • Rewe Group
  • Metro AG
  • Amazon.com Inc
  • dm-Drogerie Markt GmbH & Co KG
  • Tengelmann Group
  • eBay Inc
  • Dirk Rossmann KG
  • Globus Holding GmbH & Co
  • Expert International GmbH
  • Inter Ikea Systems BV
  • H&M Hennes & Mauritz AB
  • Otto Group
  • Bauhaus GmbH & Co Kg
  • Norma Lebensmittel Filialbetrieb GmbH & Co KG
  • Intersport International Corp (IIC)
  • Hudson's Bay Co
  • Mller Ltd & Co KG
  • Karstadt Warenhaus GmbH
  • C&A Mode AG
  • Douglas Holding AG
  • Hffner Mbelgesellschaft GmbH & Co KG
  • Hornbach Holding AG

For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/d14pny

Research and Markets also offers Custom Research services providing focused, comprehensive and tailored research.

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Laura Wood, Senior Manager
press@researchandmarkets.com  

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White House expands health accounts aimed at small businesses - 10TV

Posted: 14 Jun 2019 12:34 PM PDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is expanding options for employers to use special accounts to help workers buy their own health insurance, upgrade job-based coverage, or choose low-cost plans with limited benefits, officials said Thursday.

The tax-free individual accounts are called "health reimbursement arrangements," or HRAs, and starting next year employees will be able to use them to buy their own individual health insurance plans.

Employers that offer regular workplace coverage can also set up another type of HRA account — limited to $1,800 a year — that will allow workers to get additional benefits such as dental and vision care. This second type of account can also be used to purchase lower-cost, short-term insurance that comes with limited benefits and doesn't have to cover pre-existing medical conditions.

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HRAs are already available to employers and workers, but the administration finalized new rules that potentially could boost their popularity. Thursday's final regulation is nearly 500 pages long, and will take time for experts and benefit consultants to parse. But critics fear that some of the changes could undermine traditional workplace insurance, or raise premiums for individual plans.

The White House says the expansion of HRAs is aimed at small to midsized businesses that struggle with cost of health insurance premiums. The administration estimates that eventually 800,000 employers and more than 11 million workers and family members will benefit.

"This is going to create significant benefits for employers, particularly small employers, and millions of workers," White House health policy adviser Brian Blase told reporters.

The HRA accounts join short-term health insurance and association health plans as the Trump administration's answer to high health insurance premiums. The common thread in all three approaches is that they're geared to making private coverage more affordable. But they don't include the same levels of protections and benefits required by the Obama-era Affordable Care Act.

It's unclear how much impact Trump's combined policy changes will have. Association health plans are under a legal cloud after a federal judge struck down the regulation and the administration appealed. Solid estimates for enrollment in short-term insurance are not yet available.

Analyst Larry Levitt of the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation said HRAs seem to offer a tempting opportunity for employers. Instead of struggling with premium increases year after year for a company-wide plan, they could put a fixed amount of money in employees' accounts and let their workers buy their own coverage.

"With this new approach there is a potential for employers to shift to a defined contribution for health care, much like they have done for pensions with 401(k) plans," he said. "But I don't think that will happen on a large scale." Employers would risk a backlash if their workers get rattled by a health care switch.

While any employer can set up HRAs, officials said they are designed with two types of companies in mind: small firms that are not required to offer health insurance and medium-sized firms that usually only offer their workers a single plan.

The Obama administration had disallowed using the tax-free accounts for workers to buy their own individual health insurance, and the Trump administration reversed that.

The money employers put in the accounts is tax-free to workers and tax-deductible for the company. Employees can't put their own money into the accounts. Trump administration officials said the changes will bring more consumers into the individual health insurance market. Some employees might do the math and figure they'd come out ahead taking the money in the account and buying their own policies.

Some critics say HRAs could allow employers to come up with strategies for shifting workers with high health care costs off their company plans and into the market for individual policies, although the administration says it has acted to head that off.

John Barkett, a regulatory expert with benefits consultant Willis Towers Watson said even if several million more customers sign up for individual health insurance plans, a large-scale exodus from employer-provided coverage seems unlikely.

"This is a brand new option for employers considering the best way to provide health insurance for their employees," he said. "We don't yet know if employees are going to value this option, or if employees are going to say, 'I'd rather my employer take care of (health insurance) and I don't want to shop for it myself.'"

The new accounts will start to become available next Jan. 1.

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